Friday, November 30, 2012

Crafting for Adults: Fall Wreath

I recently started a new program series at our library.  This new series will offer a craft type program once a month to adults.  This is the first time we have offered this type of adult programming. 

This first event was planned for 27th.  We ended up having 5 attend and we had enough supplies for 12.  This was a pretty good turnout and we were very happy with it.

The total cost of this wreath was about $15.  This could probably be reduced by changing some of the materials.

It took aprox. 1 hour to complete this craft if the foam board was pre-cut.  I found that the measuring and cutting took longer than I thought.  Especially when I was prepping 12!

Materials used:

1/2 sheets of white foam board (cut in half)
Quick Dry spray paint
Aprox 100 Fabric Leaves 
Ribbon (if you want to add a bow)
Exacto knife w/ cutting board (the knife may damage your tables)

Fall Wreath Craft

1. Start with foam core board. You can cut this into a square/rectangle.  The 1/2 sheet is 30in long, so I cut it in half at 15".  Each person gets on 15" portion.

2. Determine how thick you want the whole in the middle to be and mark and cut accordingly. We measured 4" from each edge and marked it with a sharpie and then went back and cut it.  It will basically look like a picture frame. Remember: It doesn’t have to be perfect – you won’t see the exact shape when you are done! J

3. Do a quick spray of the edges with a similar color spray-paint. (Just in case the edges show through at all.)

4. You can purchase packets of leaves from the Dollar Tree during the fall season or online from a craft supplier.  I did not find leaves at Hobby Lobby or Michael's. If you get the ones with wire in the stems you can fluff them and make them more dimensional. (You can snip off the wire stems, just to have the leaves showing.)

5. Fire up the hot-glue gun or use a high tack craft glue and start arranging leaves as you would like. There is no rhyme or reason to it – just stick them on in whatever pattern you would like.  With the craft glue we found it best to put the glue on about 1/2 the board and then go back and add your leaves.  The additional few minutes helps the glue get tackier. I also found it unnecessary to go back and press down the leaves every few minutes because the fabric leaves aren't 100% flat and they needed to be coaxed a bit to stick down on the glue instead of on top of it.

6. If you have a door that is exposed to the wind, you’ll want to add weights to the “frame” because it is very lightweight.

**Honestly I cant find the site I ordered my leaves from, but I found some here and here.  They can be found online for between $5 and $15 per package.  Most packages I found came in 100 counts, but a few came in 200 counts.

**My favorite glue is Beacon 3 in 1 glue.  I find it at Hobby Lobby and Michael's craft stores and it ranges from $5 to $7 per tube.  Yes, this glue is expensive, but we use it on almost everything when we do crafts.  I have tried several types of glue and this is hands down the most versatile and it dries quickly and crystal clear.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Melted Crayon Art

We recently did melted crayon art with our teens and it was a blast!  Each teen ended up doing a completely different style project which surprised me because I thought they would all copy one of the examples I provided.

Basically we used 3 different methods:
1.) Glue peeled crayons on canvas in a pattern and melt with a hair dryer
2.) Glue peeled crayons on canvas in a pattern and melt with a hair dryer, but remove crayons and move them around as desired for a more abstract affect.
3.) Lay the canvas down flat and roll peeled crayons around the canvas while heating them with a hair dryer.

1.) This is very messy!  I thought the wax would stay on the canvas, but it melted and splattered everywhere!  Good news was the Magic Eraser cleaned it right up!  
2.) Also, we had trouble getting the crayons to stay glued to the canvas.  I dont know if this is a problem because of the glue we used or the nature of gluing crayons.  
3.) Some crayons glue and melt better than others.  Pink melted into a puddle immediately!  .... while blue-gray took forever to melt!
4.) Allow plenty of time.  This took most of the kids an hour and a half.  Peeling the crayons took forever and so did gluing the crayons down.  Also, melting time depended on the colors they chose.

Here are the directions to the two primary methods we used.

Basic Melted Crayon Art
Watercolor style Melted Crayon Art

Thursday, July 12, 2012


In 2011 our library received two technology grants: $8,000 from Praxair and $1,575 from AUTIS.  Our library was able to significantly improve access to technology for our patrons with these grants.  Tomorrow I will be presenting to AUTIS on how our grant monies were used to increase access to technology for our patrons.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fun with Crafts - Sidewalk Chalk

A week or so ago, I tried my first Pinterest craft at the library.  Our craft day activity was called "Fun with Sidewalk Chalk" and the plan was to make our own sidewalk chalk and then go outside and make sidewalk art.

 I found the tutorial for the homemade sidewalk chalk on Pinterest, as pinned from Oh My Handmade.

The project was fairly simple and the ingredients were cheap and easy to acquire.  In fact, the hardest material for me to find was the palster of paris.  I looked at all the local craft stores, to no avail.  I ended up buying mine online at S & S Worldwide, but since then my fiancee has informed me that hardware stores such as Lowes should have it in stock.

I will note that the recipe says that it will make 3 tubes of chalk, but I found that it made closer to 1 1/2 tubes.  In order to gather the toilet paper tubes we needed, we just requested donations from our patrons a few weeks in advance of the activity.

Overall, I was very pleased in the success of our program.  The project is MESSY!  But so fun!  I also loved how many different colors we could make rather than the standard 4 or 5 colors in the store bought variety.

Due to the fact that the homemade chalk takes 3 days to dry, we had store bought chalk on hand for the art portion of our program.

 I will include the directions for creating the chalk at the end of this post for ease of access.

Sidewalk Chalk Art:

Making our own sidewalk chalk:

Here is how the Finished product turned out:

*The wax paper was hard to remove, and I couldn't get it all off, but the chalk still worked fine.

Directions for making your own sidewalk chalk:

What you will need:
•    Toilet paper or paper towel tubes
•    Scissors
•    Duct tape
•    Wax paper
•    Small bucket or disposable container to make the recipe
•    ¾ cup of warm water
•    1 ½ cups Plaster of Paris
•    2-3 tablespoons of tempera paint
•    Paper bag or a “mess mat”

Step 1: If you are using paper towel tubes, cut each tube in half, so it is roughly the length of a toilet paper roll tube.

Step 2: Cover one end of each tube with duct table to hold the contents within.

Step 3: Cut as many pieces of wax paper as you have tubes. Roughly 6 inches X 6 inches. Roll the wax paper loosely and insert into the tubes so as to effectively line the tubes. The top of the wax paper will be higher than the tubes. The wax paper liner will keep the chalk mixture from sticking to the cardboard tubes and will eventually be peeled off.  Fold the excess wax paper over the sides of the tube to keep it from falling down into the tube while you are filling it.

Step 4: Pour the warm water into your bucket. Sprinkle the Plaster of Paris over the water and stir the mixture with a plastic spoon. The Plaster of Paris roughly starts hardening within 20-30 minutes, so you need to work fast so that it does not harden too quickly.

Step 5: Next you will want to pour the tempera paint into the Plaster of Paris mixture and stir so that it is mixed thoroughly. If you would like brighter colors  add more tempera paint into the mixture. We wanted to make a variety of colors of chalk, so we spooned about 1/2-3/4 cup of Plaster of Paris in each separate container and mixed in the different tempera paint colors into each bowl. We ended up making six different colors and next time might mix more.

Step 6: Stand each tube with the tape side down on a cookie sheet/flat baking dish/box lid to make the project easier to transport to a drying location.  Pour or spoon the colored Plaster of Paris mixture into the wax paper lined tubes. Lightly tap the sides of the tubes to release the air bubbles (so you do not have holes in your chalk). After you have poured the mixture into the tubes start another color. When done trim the excess wax paper so that it is closer to the cardboard tube.

Step 7: It took 3 days for our chalk to dry. On the last day, we peeled off the duct tape so that the underside could dry. When the chalk dries, peel off the paper tubes and wax paper. Your chalk is ready!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I love my job, or I wouldnt be here.

I started my career almost 5 years ago, in September of 2007.  My first professional position, was that of a Library Director in rural Arkansas, serving a county of 30,000 people.  I am still in that position today.

When I started library school, I originally wanted to work in a high school library, but fate sought a different path for me.  I never thought my first professional library position would be that of a Library Director.  That being said, I love

The great thing about being a small town library director is the variety in my day.  I don't do the same things every day.  I am lucky that my Board supports community activism and outreach, because I get to be involved in numerous local organizations such as Rotary, Kiwanis, Boys and Girls Club, etc., which provides both professional and personal benefits.

From day to day my schedule may include: programming, creating book orders, attending community meetings, troubleshooting computer problems, moving furniture, updating our website, promoting our library via facebook, soliciting donations, writing grants, responding to emails, writing reports, working at the circulation desk, shelving, moping the floor, or hosting a story hour.

In the past I have had the pleasure of patrons screaming at me, climbing a ladder to hang a banner, moping a flooded room in new shoes, cleaning feces off the bathroom walls while wearing a suit, wearing a silly hat from craft time while out running library errands,and dancing silly dances with kids at a music program.

The life of a rural librarian is never dull!

I love my job and overall I think I am appreciated by my community, but on occasion I interact with people who dont see my dedication or do not appreciate the fact that I dont sit and read books all day.  Im mean, would I ruin new shoes or scrub mold off the building if I didnt love my job?!

The joy is when the kids I visit in their classrooms remember me when they come by the library and want to give me a hug or when an email is sent to my Board complimenting me for a job well done (and getting surprised because I didnt know it was going to be sent).

Sometimes you have to remind yourself that regardless of the trials you face as a public figure and public servant, you are making a difference.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Library Volunteer Mystery

Where do you find volunteers and how do you get them to keep coming back?

I have been with my library for five years and we have struggled with the volunteer issue.  We primarily advertise for volunteers within our building although I do make requests and announcements at local community events and civic meetings as well.  In the past we have also offered a Teen Advisory Board with a volunteering component.  None of these methods have been overly successful.

I have found that high school students seeking volunteer hours are often only seeking to complete a handful of hours.  While one might say, anything is better than nothing, I disagree.  It takes time and effort from an already short staff to train volunteers, so when those volunteers do not stay very long they have cost us more time than they have provided by their attempt to help.

Once or twice we have had adults volunteer on a semi-regular basis as a requirement for some type of unemployment benefit, but these normally quit after they have found a job.

I will say that this year I can claim some relative success in regards to our Summer Carnival.  This year is our 3rd  of our annual carnival and this year we had 9 volunteers!  This is more than we have had in the previous years, combined!  In the first year we had 5 volunteers sign up and only one show up for the carnival.  Last year, I think we had 3 volunteers.  This year we had 9!!  This year we actually were able to open all of our games and I was able to act as a runner to bring water to everyone and relieve people for potty breaks.

What really makes me sad is that I see other organizations doing so much better.  At the last Chamber of Commerce event, they had over 50 volunteers and every year at the Literacy Council's Haunted House they have enough volunteers to build, decorate, and "haunt" an entire building for several weeks!

I send emails, I call local businesses, I ask patrons, I promote volunteering at the schools, but the volunteers are just not there.  Is my community unique or is there ambivalence towards library support and volunteering in most communities?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Twitter style book reviews

I was in a car accident on March 3rd and cracked my left wrist, which is my dominant hand.

Due to my accident, my ability to write book reviews has been limited. This is my attempt to do "twitter style" book reviews.

Starters by Lisaa Price: young adult novel dystopian, parents dead, rent-a-body, live over 200 years, prisons for orphans, disappearing kids, secrets

Secret Letters by Leah Scheier : young adult novel, Victorian time period, Sherlock Holmes, solving my stories, family secrets, undercover maid

Watchers Last Stop by Peter Lerangis: tween novel, finding missing missing dad, crazy neighbor, alternate worlds, subway tunnels

Patient One by Leonard Goldberg: adult novel: president is sick, poison at state dinner, terrorists, doctor who was special ops trained

Stone Girl by Alyssa Scheinel : young adult novel, teen romance?, anorexia, bulimia, depression, self dialogue

Saturday, March 10, 2012

You Know You Are a Rural Librarian If....

A friend of mine shared this with me and I identified with it so much, I thought I would share it.

This is shared to you from The Association of Small and Rural Libraries.

You know you are a rural librarian if….

    1. People in the checkout line hand you a reserve request written on the back of their grocery list.
    2. People tell the town manager you work too much because they saw your car at the library after 9 P.M.
    3. You stop at yard sales to buy movies for the library.
    4. You have a network of fellow scavengers who save Coke, Pepsi and Powerade caps so you can redeem the points for more stuff for the library.
    5. Your fingerprints are on every item in the library.
    6. You debate weeding a title you just know cousin Emma will hate you for, but do it anyway.
    7. You’re on the delivery service, but drop off an ILL pouch in the next town after hours because you’re going there anyway to do some grocery shopping.
    8. You visit other libraries and the first place you go is their used book shelf.
    9. There is a bigger library that has adopted you, and you have done the same for a smaller library.
    10. You have done story hour while simultaneously checking out books and answering a reference question over the phone.
    11. people bring by new babies AND pets to show the staff.
    12. your bookmobile has had to wait for a flock of sheep to clear the road.
    13. your bookmobile has mowed down a flock of guineas (They saw the sheep in time, but the guineas never had a chance).
    14. staff members know the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins of the kid checking out books.
    15. you know and call the owner when a dog wanders into the library.
    16. staff members can walk to any store downtown during their break.
    17. patrons bring you vegetables from their gardens.
    18. the books on raising goats, sheep and chickens circulated more than the books on fine arts and travel.
    19. your patrons know what the Firefox books are.
    20. you not only continue to circ VHS, you buy them at used books sales & yard sales because your patrons still want them.
    21. people tie up their horse-wagons and buggies to the bike stand in front of your library (It’s an Amish thing).
    22. your patrons like you to place holds on titles for them – even before they know they want that book. (Proactive reader’s advisory).
    23. you are the town’s copier service, fax service, UPS pickup spot, meeting room, community, service outlet, internet cafe, and perhaps even the coffee shop (vending machine anyone?)
    24. you can see trees, open spaces and livestock from your library’s front door (mooooo).
    25. you are The Community Center for your village or town.
    26. you invite all the patrons in for hot soup and coffee when the power is off in neighborhoods during the winter.
    27. people stop you in the grocery store (or dry cleaners, or restaurant, or…) to return books ormake requests for books.
    28. you have to drive at least 10 miles to buy a gallon of milk.
    29. the children from summer reading bring their report cards in to show you and invite you to their graduations.
    30. you know every kid on the high school football team by the kind of books they read when they were in summer reading.
    31. you and all your staff cry when someone tells you of the passing of a long-time patron.
    32. you have ever installed a water-heater or fixed a major appliance yourself, or with the help of a spouse, because you could not afford to call a repairman or the nearest one is more than an hour away.
    33. patrons call and ask you to renew books and you don’t have to ask their names because you recognize their voices.
    34. the directions given to outreach staff involve turning next to the big barn with the red chickens in the yard.
    35. you’ve ever had a patron drop off house plants for you to keep while they had an extended hospital stay.
    36. your elevation is greater than your population.
    37. when you get a phone call asking for the Reference desk, Acquisitions department, Overdues, Children’s Services, ILL, etc., you say “I can help you with that.”
    38. you get stopped in the grocery store by people who tell you they have overdue books or fines, and want to take care of it right there next to the lettuce.
    39. when people are looking for bars, they’re not talking about their cell-phone!
    40. you troubleshoot for everyone in the community’s computer problems, not just your own.
    41. you loan your personal books out to supplement the library collection.
    42. you repurpose computers until they are useless to the library, and then you repurpose them to another non-profit or family in need. …same with books. …and occasionally other fixtures.
    43. you back up your school librarian, whose job is constantly in question, and is wearing far too many hats these days.
    44. your Friends group is remodeling the library bathrooms…themselves, and the Board members help move shelving, wash windows, plant annuals, and paint walls.
    45. you have volunteer maintenance folks.
    46. people bring you lunch and dinner because they know on busy days you don’t eat because meals are not on the schedule.
    47. patrons subscribe to a periodical to ensure the library has it.
    48. when school gets out, your patronage (and bathroom use) double (or triple) and you know everyone coming in (mostly).
    49. you open early and stay open late when it is too hot for living outside and most people don’t have air conditioning.
    50. lost books are only found after the patron has paid for it or replaced it.
    51. people call the library for the number to….anyone, anywhere in town.
    52. the deer outside outnumber the people inside. (Or geese, or ducks…and they should know better to chase the Swans out on the ICE!…or you see a fox run down the street after close and make a left at the corner of the library to go hunting.)
    53. one of your patrons calls and asks you to bring the library ladder (a wooden one over 50 years old) and come to her house to put a baby robin back that fell out of its nest.
    54. you are shopping for groceries and people stop to request a book purchase or to renew their books when you get back to work. Oral requests, not written.
    55. you are digging weeds out around the parking lot when the library isn’t open yet and passing library patrons stop to help.
    56. my husband hits all the yard sales and thrift stores to look for movies for the library.
    57. your patrons call your house at 9:30 at night and they forgot to pick up an audio book for the trip they are leaving on the next day and can you please meet them.
    58. every child in town knows you as the library lady and soon the parents all call you that too.
    59. patrons leave books in your mailbox at home.
    60. people drop off and pick up clothes alterations, plants, flowers and other items for other people to pick up.
    61. you can stand at the library front door and point at the buildings of the post office, bank, courthouse, doctor’s office and diners.
    62. you talk to patrons about their family for 10 minutes before you renew their materials over the phone.
    63. animal husbandry is the largest non-fiction section in your library.
    64. you are not only the town librarian but the town mayor (I met a woman who was librarian and mayor).
    65. folks drive their lawn mowers to the library (or tractors).
    66. you can walk to the post office to pick up an interlibrary loan and leave the library unattended.
    67. there is no stop light in your county, which is roughly the size of Rhode Island.
    68. you get mail addressed to “Library – P.O. Box” the lady at the P.O. Knows.
    69. the highway snowplow stops by the library for audio books.
    70. your town has three bars but no bank. you can order free-range eggs at the circulation desk.
    71. the only way some kids get to summer reading is to drive a school bus to a neighboring town and pick them up (because you are the school bus driver too).
    72. the library has become the underground railroad for buying and selling of more mushrooms.
    73. extra produce from people’s gardens is left in bushel baskets inside the front door free for the taking.
    74. you can knock on a patron’s door and get the overdue books back yourself.
    75. your library closes for the annual town festival because all staff are marching in the parade and the library is the best viewing spot.
    76. your library is not within a major corporate donor’s area of service thereby disqualifying you for their grants.
    77. parents call to tell you “send John home, it’s supper time”….and then call back 15 minutes later because that’s how long it takes for him to walk home and John isn’t there yet.
    78. families see you out in public and ask you why your not at the library.
    79. patrons call you at home to ask if you have a particular item in the collection and if you do if you will save it for them for the next day.
    80. the parents of teens ask you to give their kids a ride home so they can stay for programming
    81. you are the one who cleans up the poop left by the pet a patron brought in to show off.
    82. you have a set of tools for repairs (or spouse willing to act as unpaid maintenance person – mine decided sleeping with me was not enough compensation).
    83.  you have taken a reserve request and/or reference question while in the bathroom of the local American Legion post.
    84. you are called a patron’s “personal reading advisor” (That is what my feed store owner calls me).
    85. UPS delivers to your home because the library is closed.
    86. you’re stopped at the Casey’s in a near-by town and asked if you have such and such book.
    87. you have a newborn baby goat in your office at the library because it was rejected by its mother, and you are bottle feeding it.
    88. you are late to work because you had to drop animals off at the sale barn.
    89. you need to leave early to take your kids and their livestock to the 4-H weigh in.
    90. you come to work with chicken poop somewhere on your person
    91. a patron had to pay for a damaged book because it fell in the sheep dip
    92. you stay open when the electricity is out because people will be in for books to read until the power is back on.
    93. it doesn’t surprise you when the reason for power outage is because a combine took out a telephone pole.
    94. the book is dirty “because I was reading it in the field while I was waiting on . . .” makes perfect sense to you.
    95. you suggest checking the trucks and tractors for that missing audiobook CD.
    96. your first reference question is from a 4-H member asking how long to leave a rooster with hens before what he wants to happen happens
    97. the regular library person forgot that it was her day to work, so an 8th grader who volunteers on Saturdays went looking for a key to open the library and run it.
    98. the state library consultant is asked to run the library for a few minutes because the librarian is the only one on duty and a patron called needing help canning beans.
    99. staff members know the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins of the kid checking out books.
    100.  a dog wanders into the library and you call the owner.
    101. staff members can walk to any store downtown during their break.
    102. patrons bring you vegetables from their gardens.
    103. you are late to work because the railroad crossing was blocked by railroad cars moving forward and back again while switching to the grain elevator tracks (this can take 20 minutes or more!).
    104. patrons use your car as a bookdrop, within a 60 mile radius of the library.
    105. you are late for work and kids knock on your front door and ask you why you are not at the library.
    106. people run out to their cars and return books to you when you are grocery store.
    107. you come home to find book donations on your front porch.
    108.  patrons ask you to bring books they have on hold to meetings and baseball games.
    109.  patrons come to your house when the library is closed and ask to check out a book because they don’t have anything to read.
    110. you slow down on the way to the library for a parade of field mice running across a gravel road. There were about 15 to 20 of them.
    111. a patron comes in and says “I want to read that book by that author that I liked last year…” and you know just what book they are referring too.
    112. someone asks directions to a person’s house without having the address and the library employee tells them the correct way to get there.
    113. your patrons arrive by 4-wheeler, tractor or lawn mower.
    114. your patrons see you coming in your vehicle & hold their returns out their car window for you to grab as you pass by.
    115. your director wants to have a “living display” for National Dairy Month and bring in a cow to show the college kids. Then when she says “Because who’s milked a cow before?” and all 3 of the other staff members chuckle and raise their hands
    116. any time you go into town to shop or run errands, four or more people ask you to renew their books, or place something on hold for them. Or hand you a big stack of books to take back to the library for them!
    117. laptop users ask if they can access the Wi-fi from the front porch rocking chairs. (even a small log cabin library likes to keep up with the times)
    118. you call to tell a patron his/her book is in, but they might not answer because the phone is in the barn! (true story, honest)
    119. you have to request patrons not to spit tobacco in the trash cans.
    120. children at church ask you to unlock the library so they can get their favorite movie.
    121. people call you at home to see if you have a book on a certain subject that their child needs for a report.
    122. people give you money for a book memorial at church.
    123. the sack boy at the grocery store asks when his books are due.
    124. someone comes into your library and says “you know that book with the red cover by that author I like so well” and you know what books she is asking for.
    125. someone comes into your library and says “you know that book from yesterday and it was a very big over size book. And they don’t know the author of the book.
    126. when you go out to grab something to eat, you are asked to fix and diagnose a computer and printer problem there on the spot. I guess part of the enjoyment of being a really rural librarian
    127. on your way home, you have to deliver books to some of the patrons that couldn’t make it into the library, because they were working in the fields or the weather was not good and they could not walk to the library.. True
    128. you know the name of every person who comes in the library. Not just their name, but the whole family, as well and their dog and cat. And you know what church they attend. And they ask you to pick out their books for them because, “You know what I like.
    129. a customer gets angry because the book on CD won’t play in his DVD player! When a new librarian is introduced to patrons he or she is asked, “Now, Who are your people?”
    130. When FEMA requests that the bookmobile notify people at scheduled stops in low-lying areas they need to evacuate within 24 hours.
    131. When you have a waiting list of people who have asked to harvest the pecans from the trees in the library yard.
    132. When you are locally known as one of “the folks down to the librey.”
    133. There is a very loud explosion just outside the building and nobody flinches.
    134. You have patrons who have been shot, died of overdoses, given birth or conceived children, all in your library.
    135. You know all the cheap brands of fortified wine, malt liquor and where they are sold.
    136. You can tell by look or smell what a patron has been smoking.
    137. Your library has an “armed intruder” protocol.
    138. You don’t walk to your car alone, day or night.
    139. You have kids who virtually live in your library because it is one of the few safe places to go, and even safer than home.
    140. You realize that there are many degrees of homelessness.
    141. Every day quite a few people use your lavatory as a bathhouse.
    142. You have become quite used to interrupting men who are enjoying safe sex with themselves.
    143. You know better than to wake a sleeping patron.
    144. You know exactly how to dispose of dirty diapers, used prophylactics, suspicious packages and drug kits.
    145. The only dog you haven’t discovered in a backpack is an Irish Wolfhound.
    146. You have been cussed out in every major European and Asian language or dialect–at least that you can identify.
    147. There are at least three very poor and neglected children that you would steal away with if nobody could find out.
    148. You have given money to somebody because they needed to eat.
    149. You can give turn-by-turn directions to any spot within five miles, and you know where the buses stop, and have the train schedule memorized.
    150. Sometimes in a farming community so small and rural that the town no longer has a school and does not have a post office, bank, bar, grocery store, or gas station(most farmers have their own gas delivered and everyone else goes to the next biggest town miles away) but does have a library, a grain elevator, and, if you are lucky, a church.
    151. I once filled out a report on rural libraries that asked how far it was to was to the nearest city of 25,000 (limited to cities within the state). The answer for our library was 380 miles. Another library in our system was even further away, nearly 500 miles. Luckily for us, we were on the state border and only had a trip of 100 miles to get to a decent shopping mall in a neighboring state. Was this in one of the wide open Western states? Nope – Michigan.
    152. when a tree falls down during a storm and is blocking the road to the highway, you don’t need to worry about being late to work – in a few minutes someone with a chainsaw in their truck will come along and cut up the tree.
    153. when you see cows out in the road, you know whose they are, and offer to help get them back in. (after taking off my good shoes and putting on a ratty pair of shoes.)
    154.  you wouldn’t dream of planning any sort of library program during Hunting Season!!
    155. When I was young in Massachusetts the number of rings indicated who on the party line was getting a call. When my mother finished some of her conversations she’d say “Did everyone get that?” …and you’d hear click! click! as the other two families on the party line quickly hung up their phones.
    156. Here in our suburban libraries, bunnies gambol in the backyard, next to Route 287 and deer ramble through. Up the road wild turkeys keep people pinned in their cars at the 9/11 Memorial. Fortunately, the local black bears haven’t come to charge out Corduroy yet.
    157. a patron has to pay for books he accidentally shot while shooting at the possum he notices in his living room. He missed the possum, but nailed the stack of books!
    158. My parents were in town and fell by the library to take me to dinner after work, and a little girl came in to get a library card. We charged for outside-the-city cards, $2 for kids. The little dear had saved up $1.90, and her mom didn’t have any money on her, but I gave her the card anyway, and told her to bring in the extra dime next time she had one. She checked out a couple books and left happy After I locked up, my dad told me that not only had I told the mother that I trusted her and her child but that that mother would tell everybody she knew that I had. The little one came in a week or so later with the dime, too, so she was good for it.
    159. when you’re at the grocery store during the day on a weekday and the 5 year old in front of you in line whispers in her mom’s ear to ask if the library is closed.
    160. when the UPS man delivers your home computer to your husband at work, after stopping in to ask you where you’d like it delivered. (We sure missed Dave when he retired!)
    161. when you ask a patron applying for a library their phone number, they rattle off the last four digits (sadly we now have to dial the area code but natives or long timers still rattle off just the last four digits)
    162. you go to lunch and a patron hands you a book and asks if you can return it for her.
    163. you get complaints about staff when you’re at the roller rink in the next town with your son.
    164. the turkey at the front door is a REAL turkey, not a politician.
    165. every other patron asks about your mama – by name.
    166. you cannot open the library’s dumpster because a bear was jumping on it and smashed the top. you have chipmunks living the ceiling of the library eating the wiring. (both true stories from another library I worked in).
    167. We’re not rural, but one of our libraries in an outlying desert area of Phoenix often has wild animals, insects, and reptiles wander around and in the building. A friend who works there told me they had a customer who was chased by a wild boar. The customer was holding a bucket of KFC and refused to put it down, even though a giant wild animal with sharp teeth was chasing her down.
    168. patrons are personally affronted if you ask to see their library card at checkout.
    169.  a kid tries to pay his library fine with eggs and you refuse because you don’t have any eggs in the drawer to make change with.
    170.  your in-demand magazines are Field and Stream, Successful Farming, American Rifleman, and Farm Journal.
    171.  you have a list of legislators taped to your reference desk, but you can name all the U.S. Representatives for your state.
    172. you have to phone anybody in your state library association, you have a choice of two area codes.
    173.  your license plates have either a cowboy, a fish or a vegetable on them.
    174. there are two seasons: Hunting and Fishing.
    175.  the most-borrowed volume is the Ball Blue Book (a guide to canning).
    176.  there is one college football team for the entire state, and it may as well be for the entire planet.
    177. everybody knows you have not been walking very well, and one night, as you leave and head for your car, a PU going the other way stops and just sits there until you are in your car then goes on their way. And the Chief of police lets you park in a no parking spot while you are at work in the library.
    178. you are afraid to open the door because the skunk on the porch makes you nervous.
    179. Or, in the winter, “I can’t get out of my driveway” due to the snow.
    180. the two books enjoying the highest checkout in the library are The Chicken Health Book and How to do Your Own Divorce in Texas
    181. a perfectly valid reason for calling off work is “my road is flooded out again.”
    182. a patron asks to trade you either a dozen eggs or a freshly baked pie in lieu of paying a fine.
    183.  you refuse to issue a card to Billy Bob Jr. because the picture ID he brought in is his father’s, and you know this because you know where both he and his father live, and the address on the driver’s license is the father’s.
    184. the grandfather across the street is your security system (True!)
    185. you list the names of probable readers next to every book you order (in the order of their VIP standing or watch out!), and if there aren’t enough possible readers you won’t be ordering it. (Sadly, also true)
    186. you know every card-holder by name, and could take a stab at age and ancestry for two generations in either direction.
    187. when you walk to work (because you CAN), every car stops to ask if you need a ride and what happened to your car?
    188. your library has a watering trough. Though no longer being used.
    189. your library has a hitchin’ post.
    190. Or your husband’s packages!
    191. when delivery people bring packages to the library, not your home, irrespective of what the address says.
    192. the only time you lock your car is in the summer, and that’s so that people won’t leave bags of squash in it.
    193. a firefighter stops a young vandal from damaging your vehicle by saying “No, that car belongs to one of the librarians.”
    194. you carry bits of paper in your pocket when going to the grocery store, etc., because you know someone will request a book, or have a question.
    195. you check out and take books to an elderly client because she kinda, sorta threaten to tell your Dad if you didn’t.
    196. a boy’s book is overdue and his excuse is because his mother kept him at the hospital day after day while she was sitting with her brother who had had a log run through his stomach. (The man lived. EMS confirmed the story.)
    197.  a man walks in with a shoe box in his hands, asks for the Readers’ Advisor, takes the top off the box and says, “Can you help me identify this (very much alive) snake? I’ve never seen one like this around here.” (True story.)
    198. you’re late to work because you were stuck behind a tractor – or a combine.
    199. when you’re not home, the UPS man knows to drop off your package at the library.
    200.  you are happy to adjust employees’ schedules around their county fair competitions.
    201. your whole area’s Internet connection goes down because a farmer’s horse dies. (The farmer used a backhoe to dig a hole for burial and accidentally cut a cable in the process.)
    202. you’re new to the library and are given directions to the Smiths’ house that include, “Turn right at the corner where Mrs. Jones’s aunt used to live.” (You don’t know Mrs. Jones, let alone her aunt.)
    203. your genealogy materials are rarely used because everyone knows each other and their family history.
    204. you have to walk the long way around the library in the morning to avoid the skunk by the front door.
    205. you’re still considered a newcomer after you have been the library director for five years.
    206. there are no dentists or optometrists in your county that are on the insurance plan offered by your parent institution.
    207. patrons think you have a parking problem if they can’t find a parking space within 20 feet of the library.
    208. no local HVAC technician can repair your system because it is larger and more sophisticated than anything they have ever worked on.
    209. a child at Wal Mart says “Look Mama, it’s the Library lady!”